Analytics on computer on a desk

What is Web Analytics and Why You Need It

Have you ever wondered how many users visit your website every day? Where they come from? How much time they spend on your website? And most importantly, how many of them finally convert to paid users? These are some really serious questions that keep marketers and business strategists awake at night. Thankfully, we have web analytics to answer these questions with just a  few clicks. In this post, I will explain what web analytics is, why it is important for your business, and what the most popular tools are to get started.

 

Web analytics is made up of the technology and associated methods for the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of websites and web application usage data. Web analytics usage has been growing ever since the development of the World Wide Web. However, it has seen significant growth in the last few years, especially after Google started its free google analytics service for the public. It is designed to give website owners information on how visible their site is and how visitors interact with it on a day to day basis. From a business perspective, the primary focus of web analytics is to measure and benchmark site performance and to look at some of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that drive the business.

Why Do You Need Web Analytics?

Web analytics is extremely important in fully understanding how your online services or marketing efforts are being received by your targeted audience. It gives you a chance to make the necessary changes to optimize your overall plan of action to get the most out of your investment. You can use web analytics to tailor your website’s content in order to make it more appealing and useful to the visitors. Here are some of the major reasons why you should use web analytics for your business growth:

  1. To know your visitors well and enhance the user experience
  2. To understand how your visitor interacts with your website & services
  3. To learn about keywords used to search your website and improve SEO
  4. To track top referrals and build strategies to gain more of them
  5. To utilize your top outbound links as partnership opportunities
  6. To learn about the impact and success of a sales/marketing campaign

What Information Can You Gather

Most of the web analytics tools collect a plethora of information which is later processed and presented on a dashboard which is much easier to understand and analyze. This information can be categorized broadly into three groups as shown below.

Audience Data

  • number of visits, number of unique visitors
  • number of new and returning visitors
  • visitor’s country, age-group
  • browser or device used to access the website

Audience Behavior

  • common landing page
  • common exit page
  • frequently visited page
  • length of time spent per visit
  • bounce rate

Campaign Data

  • which campaign drove the most traffic
  • which website referred the most traffic
  • which keywords resulted in a visit
  • campaign mediums (email. social media etc.)

Most Popular Analytics Tools

Trying to collect and process huge data could be a challenging task for anyone and a major technical constraint for non-tech companies. Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there that can turn all of that collected information into easy-to-understand reports that give you much-needed insight. Here are some of the top web analytics tools that you can use for your business.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the best free tools that any website owner can use to track and analyze data about Web traffic. You can see what keywords are bringing the most visitors to your pages and what aspects of your designs are turning them off. This tool has well-organized dashboards to display information about visitors, traffic sources, goals, content, and many more metrics.

Adobe Analytics

Adobe Marketing Cloud, formerly known as Omniture, is another excellent source for online web analytics data. The Adobe Marketing Cloud includes Adobe Analytics to help you monitor your website, Adobe Social to help you manage your social media brand pages, Adobe Media Optimizer to help you understand your top advertising options across display, search, and social, Adobe Target which helps you optimize content, Adobe Experience Manager to help you organize and manage your content, and Adobe Campaign which helps you manage all of your campaigns across your marketing channels.

Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is another analytics tool that allows clients to track the movements of individual visitors throughout their websites. You can see how behaviors change over time, identify patterns, and see the most typical and recent referrers, among other stats. It offers a “Timeline View” of visitor activity in an easy-to-understand visual format.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is another advanced analytics platform which is used to track user interactions with web and mobile applications. Unlike Google Analytics, which continues to be the de facto standard for summary metrics centric analysis such as page views, session counts, time on site, etc., Mixpanel focuses on the actions that each user takes on a web or mobile app over time, such as signing up for a service, returning to the service after a period of dormancy, interacting with new features, etc.

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg uses the power of Heatmap technology to give you a visual picture of what site visitors are doing on your Web pages. It shows you where people are moving their mouse on the page and where they click. There is a link between where people put the mouse and where they are moving their eyes. So, this kind of tracking helps you see what areas are catching the most attention and interaction from users.

 

With such a wide variety of analytics tools on the market, the right vendors for your company’s needs will depend both on your specific requirements and budget limits.

 

What web analytics tools do you use for your business? If you have not yet started using any or have questions, feel free to reach us out to us at solutions@anant.us.

 

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash